Okay. Got your attention. I have been pondering this for some time trying to decide how to best present it.
I am not an engineer. However, I have been blessed with good spatial skills and have a high mechanical aptitude. That plus hands-on experience allows me to have some knowledge I wish to share.
This may come as a surprise to you but there are some unscrupulous people out there who want to get your money by whatever means possible. Understand that most service providers are honest and reputable. It’s the other type I want to talk about. The two categories I want to address are concrete and foundation repair companies and tree services.
In 2008 I started a concrete repair business. Commonly known as mudjackng or slabjacking, in addition to sidewalks and driveways we also addressed foundations. I was appalled when I went to look at a house where another company had also looked at it and made a quote. Many times, there were only small cracks in the mortar joints in the foundation. Most times this was in the summer months when the ground was dry. Clay expands and contracts with moisture changes. The homeowner was told by the company preceding me that they had major structural problems, and it was going to cost thousands of dollars to save their house.
If I didn’t think the problem was all that severe, I would recommend the homeowner put a garden hose down next to the foundation and let it run slowly overnight. Invariably I would get a call from the homeowner the next day or the day after telling me the crack had closed. Our East Tennessee clay can expand and contract 20-30%.
If you really want to know if you have a structural problem, contact a reputable structural engineer or someone you know is trustworthy.
Tree services. There are a bunch of them. Most of them are good at what they do. It’s dangerous work and worthy of respect. My advice on this does not include value of service provided. Of course, you want to make sure they are insured and bonded.
What I have run into on several occasions is when the homeowner is told how valuable their tree or trees are. I have been operating a sawmill for 8+ years. I saw and kiln dry mostly walnut and white oak. Many times, I get contacted by homeowners wanting to sell me logs that were cut from trees they had a service cut down. It seems the tree service had told them they could recover a high percentage of the cost of tree cutting by selling the logs to someone like me.
First off, most sawyers shy away from logs from yards. They quite often have nails or other pieces of metal in them. Blades don’t like metal. And what the homeowner has been told the logs are worth is more than the lumber is worth after it has been hauled, milled and dried.
Again, this is not the norm. I don’t want to cast dispersions on either of these services. Just check everything out before you sign and commit.
I would be more than happy to give you my input on either of these items, at no charge. (Probably about what it’s worth)
You can find me on Facebook. Message me.
Hang on to your hard-earned money!
Dan Arp is retired and lives in Heiskell.